Put On Love

"And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony."
Colossians 3:14

February 29
So long February!
This month brought to my attention two young men who had to bury young wives, whom they loved and adored. One was the 28 year old daughter in law of friends of ours. The other, you probably read about in the news.  The wife of Monty Williams (Oklahoma City Thunders assistant basketball coach) and mother of his five children.  Both of these men, through the strength of God, gave touching eulogies at their wives funerals.

Here is Williams'


Heading to dinner this particular night, we did not realized how well we coordinated!
February 27-28
Just typing the word coordinated sent me off to Merriam-Webster and what I found was actually an excellence description of what a marriage should be.

"equal in rank, quality, or significance"
"to act or work together properly and well"
"the process of organizing people or groups so that they work together properly and well" 
"to cause (two or more things) to not conflict with or contradict each other"
"the harmonious functioning of parts for effective result"
"the ability to move different parts of your body together well or easily" 

"...each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband.  
The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband..."
1 Corinthians 7: 2-3

Right now I can't find my man.  I slept late and have called and called for him and looked through the house and out all the windows.  My guess is after this week of storms and  high winds he is somewhere out on the acreage picking up sticks, but why in the world he'd do when it's only 32 degrees and dark outside is beyond me.  I'm trying not to grow anxious by praying.
HA! Just after I said,"Amen," I looked out our bedroom window and there he was! PTL!
Yes, he is wearing a pink neck warmer and red snow gloves!
Being "coupled" means knowing one another well.


A warm swim on a cold day is a good distraction...

and a good way to burn off the energy that little people pack!

February 26
Once again my journal entry to God began with "YOU are the best part of my day!  No earthly individual or treasure could thrill my heart the way You do Father.  How do I pass that experience on to those I love?  My prayer is that You would  "Be REAL to those I love. Be REALLY special to them and allow them to REALIZE You are for REAL in their lives.

"This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, 
and Jesus Christ whom You have sent."
John 17:3 

Romans 12:14-21

February 25
Back to the book!  If we looked at every other human being as a precious, precisely created, child of God, planned with a purpose by Him and formed by His very hands, we would treat others a lot differently. When we take issue with individuals we should tell God about it. Chances are, He will point out something equally offensive in us! Yikes. 
So, here comes the rest of the list to add to these seven we memorized Tuesday.
Love for real, don't fake it. 
Run from evil, cherish what is good.  
Be a good friend, be 2nd. 
Don't burn out, rest.  
Be ready to serve happily. 
Don't quit, pray hard.  
Help Christians through hospitality.
Today's simplified version of the actual Scripture to follow.
Bless your enemies, no cursing.
Laugh and shed tears with friends.
Get along, don't be stuck up. 
Make friends with nobodies, don't be the great somebody.
Don't hit back, discover beauty in everyone.
Get along.
Don't get even. Let God judge.
If your enemy is hungry feed him. 
Don't let evil get the best of you, get the best of evil by doing good!

"Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they're happy; share tears when they're down.Get along with each other; don't be stuck up. Make friends with nobodies; don't be the great somebody.  Don't hit back; discover beauty in everyone.  If you've got it in your, get along with everybody.  Don't insist on getting even; that's not for you to do, 'I'll do the judging,' says God. 'I'll take care of it.'  Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he's thirsty get him a drink.  Your generosity will surprise him with goodness.  Don't let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good."
Romans 12:14-21 

Over the Moon

Spring is coming, so I had a test run on backside bunny buttermilk pancakes!
Chickie Lamby lovers await the arrival of little guests!

February 24
I have to interrupt the regularly scheduled devotional and Praise the Lord for how GREAT I felt yesterday. (Haven't gotten out of bed as of yet today.) It's the first time in 5 1/2 months my head has felt totally clear and I've had the confidence and stamina to drive to run errands on my own. For two hours, I was able to print photos at CVS and then do the grocery shopping and even unload the groceries afterwards!  This was such a huge step. Totally elated, I sang praise to the Lord the whole ride down the driveway afterwards!

The Lenten study I did yesterday morning was on the Lord's Prayer and how we are instructed to ask for our DAILY bread...for God to meet our needs for that particular day...not grab all the manna in fear it won't come again, but trust.  As I drove to the store, in a bit of disbelief that the energy level was enduring, I said, "Father, thank You for allowing me to feel so good.  I'll take it for this day and pray that I could have it in the days to come!" 

My husband says, "You have to have bad days to appreciate the good ones."  I appreciate how I feel and I am so hopeful I've turned the corner in this post stroke recovery. 

Had to laugh...we have dear friends who have been like body guards/spies over me.  The couple times I've ventured out on my own I've run into them.  Yesterday, they were right inside the grocery store door as I entered.  "Does Deke know what you are doing?" they smiled and inquired.  It's a good reminder that even in adulthood...when you sneak out you usually get caught!

I sincerely appreciate your friendship, encouragement, support, love and prayers.
Life is a lot, but God is good, loving and merciful in ways we can't comprehend.

Looking forward to more energetic moments and exuding joy, 
Love, Boo

Romans 12:9-13 a Heavenly Habit

Our oldest granddaughter with her Mama Boo
February 23
The Bible is like a fabulous box of chocolates.  There are lots of favorites inside!  If I was being sent away and allowed to only pull out a few pages to take with me, Romans 12 would be a contender.

"Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it.  
Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good.
Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.
Don't burn out; keep yourselves filed and aflame.
Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant.
Don't quit in hard times; pray all the harder.
Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.
Romans 12:9-13

What a perfect "to do" list.  At first glance you might think, "Those things don't come naturally, how do I accomplish such character?"  First, we must remember it's the Holy Spirit in us who pulls off such a feat.  Secondly, once we start living this way it will become come a heavenly habit!  Rereading the list several times I knew I wanted to memorize it.  At first glance it seemed overwhelming, then I remembered months ago when I took line dancing lessons and had to put all those steps together.  With God, all things are possible.
I'm going to chew on this all day!

Love for real, don't fake it.
Run from evil, cherish what's good.
Be a good friend, be 2nd
Don't burn out, rest
Be ready to serve happily
Don't quit, pray hard
Help Christians thru hospitality

Romans 12:3-8

February 22
We just had the blessing of attending the 30th birthday celebration one of our sons, along with a batch of our children and grandchildren.  The stroke was a huge wake up call to how quickly this earthly life can be over and to make the sacrifice to be with those we love when possible.  We checked into the hotel the night before the kids arrived, so I could be rested.  In the lobby we saw a woman our age, leading her husband who had obviously had a stroke. I know the shoe could have easily been on the other foot and it be I who is having to care so diligently for my husband.  Thank you. Pop, for all you've done these past five months! A huge thanks also to our children for making this weekend happen and accepting me in slow mo. But most of all, thanks be to God, whose grace I continue to see day after day. I know all things are possible, only because of Him.

Let's keep soaking in the wisdom from Romans chapter 12.
I’m speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.
4-6 In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. The body we’re talking about is Christ’s body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn’t amount to much, would we? So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.
6-8 If you preach, just preach God’s Message, nothing else; if you help, just help, don’t take over; if you teach, stick to your teaching; if you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don’t get bossy; if you’re put in charge, don’t manipulate; if you’re called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond; if you work with the disadvantaged, don’t let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face.

Romans 12:1-2 The Workout

February 20-21
This is where I want to camp out for the next few days...Romans 12 The Message-
"Place Your Life Before God"
Paul starts out with the most important aspect of this teaching using the phrase "God helping you."
Within this chapter are prescribed attributes and actions which are not easily acquired by humans.  #whatwouldwedowithouttheHolySpirit.

"So here's what I want you to do, God helping you:  Take your everyday, ordinary life-your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life-and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.  Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.  Instead, fix your attention on God.  You'll be changed from the inside out.  Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it.  Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.  v.1-2

These first two verses are chocked full of Godly advice which is good for the soul.
I'm printing these off and posting them on my bathroom mirror this week and asking God to help me.

1) Place your everyday life before God as an offering.
2) Embrace what God does for you.
3) Don't automatically fit in to the culture.
4) Fix your attention on God and let him change you from the inside out.
5) Readily recognize what God wants and quickly respond.
6) Praise God for bringing out the best in you as he matures you.

Renewal 2 The Repentant Part

February 19
The other day I sinned. (Every day I sin!) We have a beverage station in our kitchen where our coffee maker sits.  I've never had a cup of coffee in my life and have only attempted to make a pot a couple times, thus don't have a deep appreciation for the process.  The area was a mess the other day, coffee grounds, counter stains, spots on the floor tile.  I verbalized my disbelief that anyone could make such a mess.  The last comments of disbelief were not even out of my mouth when I wanted to throw up.  Not from the mess, but from my grumbling. I felt much worse from making those statements than from how I felt about the time it took to clean it up.  The worst part, the words couldn't be taken back.  (Ends up the cover of the coffee pot was broken and my kind husband hadn't wanted to trouble me to find a new one. UGH. Help me Jesus.)  I sought and received forgiveness, but Romans 12 has taken me deeper understanding of a specific aspect of the sin issue that arose.

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection.  Outdo one another in showing HONOR.  Romans 12:9-10

Honor: Regard with great respect.

Respect:  Regard for feelings, wishes and rights. Avoid harming or interfering with.

Whew, wee!  I'm telling you, get alone with Jesus in a right relationship and he will do some fine tuning on your soul.  The amazing thing is how much better you feel after He's forgiven and renewed you.

Finally, reaching the prayer point of my "with Jesus" process I asked the Lord to help me show honor to my husband always.

Off again to praise, repent, meditate and pray.  I highly recommend the daily practice!

Renewal 1

Tuesday, thousands in our community, including the school where my husband works, 
were without power.  Many of the ice laden trees came tumbling down.

February 18
It's 1:41 and I once again I've given up on sleep and decided it's prime listening to Jesus time.  In my initial attempt to go back to sleep I set off into my Praise, Repent, Meditate and Pray routine.  It's been life changing!  One of the best times with Jesus I've ever had. I could die and go to heaven right now and feel like the life lesson I want to pass on was written by Paul in Romans 12 and transcribed perfectly for this generation in The Message. It may take several days for me to get through this, but I want to start with my wake up call, which was the word RENEWAL.

Reaching the meditation portion of my middle of the night encounter, I selected the memory verse our church is working on.  Romans 2:2

"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind."

Renewal.  My first worldly thought was..."Do I have an overdue library book?"  Then the little word NEW jumped out.  Hmm, maybe the Holy Spirit hollered it to get me on the right track.  Webster's has this definition: "the state of being made new, fresh, strong."   Are you as excited as I am?  I am fired up.  Those adjectives are all desires of my heart! No matter how worn down, tripped up in tribulation or sin, or off track we've gotten, God is able to do a NEW thing with us!  Even for those who have died in Christ, God is doing a new thing!  An entire new body and new place to live without suffering and disease!

"See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland."
Isaiah 43:19

"And he who was seated on the throne said, 'Behold, I am making all things new.'
Also he said, 'Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.'"
Revelation 21:5 
(John must have been on such a high when God revealed the wild tale of what is to come!)

So much more to share, but just nibble on what NEW thing God is wanting to reveal in your life!

Some Bunny Loves You

Be my bunny Valentine!  Jesus is our all the time Valentine.

February 17

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  
Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?  
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us."  
Romans 8:35, 37

It's another sleepless night.  Even  ABC prayers were not getting me back to sleep, so I slipped away to the computer and went to Biblegateway to chew on the verse for the day.  I found the wonderful reminder that whatever our stage in life, we are loved by the Lord and empowered to be conquerors over what life might be lashing out towards us.

Trouble, Hardship, Persecution...those should be no surprise Jesus said, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart I have overcome the world." John 16:33

Famine, Nakedness, Danger, Sword..."Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."  Hebrews 12:1-3

Sending love your way and the reminder...you are loved by the God of the Universe!

You Da Bomb

This is the Valentine I made for my hubby. It's made using packs of Rolo caramel candies.

February 16
Our 5 inch snow is covered with a glaze of ice. No school again today.

Laughter is good for the soul!  I'm married to a jokester!  He's one of those people who gets "The Joke of the Day" email. Some are winners, some are not.  I, on the other hand, am one of those people who ends up being funny by default...you know, saying dumb or "out there" comments.

This stroke has definitely changed my personality.  I know it's a sin to grow anxious, so I'm learning to be content, while praying to get some things back if it's the Lord's will.  I'm S L O W E R, quieter and more pensive (most likely because at times it takes longer to speak).  The multi-tasker who loved to have a crowd around to cook for days on end, struggles to get a meal made and finds retreating to a quiet spot to be a healing balm.  WEIRD, but it is what it is for now and maybe forever.

While the practice of Lent is not found in the Bible, it is good to reflect on our sinful state and the need for a Savior.  (Not just during the Lenten season, but daily.)  Preparing my heart for the upcoming celebration of Easter, I'm doing a deeper than normal "sin check" each day.  In the wee hours of the morning, after a middle of the night bathroom run by both my husband and I, with our eyes still closed, I snuggled up next to him in the bed and said, "So what's the biggest sin issue you are dealing with?"  There was silence and then we both laughed!  Not your typical romantic comment I guess.

Lenten season or just pensive post stroke wife, not sure which prompted the comment.  He never answered, but it has made us laugh several times since!

"Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
Matthew 3:2

"Bear fruit in keeping with repentance."
Matthew 3:8 

Obviously, I had a sin issue on my heart.  It was fear. Fear of having another stroke and fear of never feeling energetic again. Thanks for continue prayers. I want the causes of this continual light headedness and the stroke to be found and resolved.  Also, I want energy and effervescence to return to my life.  Five months is a long time to not feel yourself.  Hmm, I guess I may need prayer to accept my new self.

Your Father Knows

These robots were fun to make, but tempting for little ones not to tear right into.

February 15
The snow has been falling all night and brings me peace after the sad news yesterday.  (See post.)
Our pastor brought to remembrance in his sermon, on transforming our minds, how we listen to our voice in our head, way too often!  We should be listening to Jesus' voice!

Last week while vacuuming, my mind was wondering into places of anxiousness over health issues I and others on my prayer list are facing and resentment over an unpleasant situation one of our children was having to face. I guess the Holy Spirit finally made himself heard as I did a whoops and thought...."God knows every thought before I think it. These thoughts are not pleasing to God, because I'm not putting my trust in Him by fretting." 

On the day I was about to receive some very sad news God went before me and fulfilled the verse, Matthew 6:8

Remember, your Father knows exactly what you need 
even before you ask Him!”  

I received an email from a Roanoke friend encouraging me related to the longevity of this health journey.  Then right after reading the email a neighbor called saying she wanted me to know she loved me and wanted to encourage me. Both were so touching.  A few hours later I went to get the mail and I was blown away by the card in the mailbox from a woman with whom I attend Bible Study. Matthew 6:8 was on the card! 

God knew I’d need that encouragement before I received the phone call from our friends, concerning their daughter in law entering hospice care. If He knew that, he knows what is best in the long run for each of us.
While my heart is so saddened over the outcome of this cancer battle, 
I know healing comes in many forms. 
This young woman has a new body today and is free from pain.

Check out what the remainder of the card said!

"You came to mind, so I stopped to pray.
I asked the Lord Jesus to make you a way.

To give you His peace and His strengthening grace, 
To give you endurance while running this race.

I asked Him to help when the path seems unclear,
To bring reassurance He’ll always be near.

To show you each promise He’s made will come true,
I’m praying, in all things  He’ll carry you through."

Our God is so real, so present, so personal and so compassionate. He is a loving Father who knows exactly what we need. I trust in Him.

Lay It Down

February 14
For 18 months many of us have prayed for healing from lymphoma for a young 28 year old woman, whose in-laws are dear, dear friends of ours.  Today that healing came in the form of her leaving this earth for a new body in heaven.
These two verses from my coloring book are tributes to the sweet love her husband had for her and the steadfast love that he, her family and friends have shown her these past months.

"I give you a new commandment, that you love one another."
John 13:34

"There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends."
John 15:13

This really isn't the outcome I saw happening.  I've said numerous "Why's?" to God throughout this painful illness.  While I still don't understand, I know God is sovereign and loves this couple deeply.
My husband and I had the privilege of praying over her by phone this morning before she died and then were able to get a member of our church praise band to sing Meredith Andrews' beautiful song...
"Not For a Moment Did I Forsake You."  Death is part of life.  It is easier to face when you know someone is spending eternity with Jesus and you will see them again.

Loaded with Love

February 13
In our younger years, as parents, we started every weekday morning with our six children in our bedroom for Bible Study.  The sooner you got there, the more chance you had at a spot in the bed!
Having these three snuggle up in bed with me last weekend was wonderful.

February is referred to as the love month!  The coloring book I've been working in is titled "Live Loved!"  No matter where we are in life's walk, we can all live loved every moment by Jesus.

These two pages I did highlight these amazing scriptural truths.  Remember, you are LOVED!

"Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."
1 Corinthians 13:7

"Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous;
love does not brag and is not arrogant."
1 Corinthians 13:4

The Blame Game

My  mother's term of endearment was "Sweetie."
This butterfly Valentine was created using a pack of sweeties as the body.

February 12
Wash away my guilt and cleanse me from my sin.  Psalm 51:2

Recently,  I was talking with a young lady who had been caught in the sinful act of stealing. Guilt was eating her up, as her act was against an individual whom she loved and uncovered by someone she respected.  Having the opportunity to counsel with her took me back to Genesis 3, where Adam, Eve and the Serpent are tossing around a forbidden fruit.  The culmination of this temptation story finds Adam and Eve in the justification process with the "blame game" as their key defense.  Blame and trying to make excuses for our actions is not sincere repentance.

Acts 3:19 says, "Therefore repent and turn back, so that your sins may be wiped out, that seasons of refreshing, may come from the presence of the Lord..."  We must repent and turn back to Jesus and ask him..."Restore the joy of Your salvation to me, and give me a willing spirit." Psalm 51:12

When this young woman could finally utter the words, "I sinned and need forgiveness," to the other parties involved, there was the sweetest joy restored to them all.

Shaping the Next Generation

Happy 30th birthday to this Daddy today. It's fun to watch him parent.
February 11
There are so many parenting styles!  Just go to that section in a book store and get confused!
We have seven very different children, parented by the same set of parents, yet most likely they will all parent differently.  The one key ingredient we pray they have in common is to train their children up to love and praise the Lord, to open His Word in their homes and memorize scripture, to pray without ceasing, and to be part of the Body of Christ and affiliated with a Bible believing church.

Psalm 78:1-7 (MSG) states:
Listen, dear friends, to God's truth, bend your ears to what I tell you.  I'm chewing on the morsel of a proverb; I'll let you in on the sweet old truths, stories we heard from our fathers, counsel we learned at our mother's knee.  We're not keeping this to ourselves, we're passing it along to the next generation-God's fame and fortune, the marvelous things he has done.
He planted a witness in Jacob, set Word firmly in Israel, then commanded our parents to teach it to their children so the next generation would know, and all the generations to come-know the truth and tell the stories so their children can trust in God, never forget the works of God but keep his commands to the letter. 

Makes Sense

Check out what was hanging off our house during a recent snowstorm!
Being too cold for bare little hands to hold, we put these giant icicles in cups to suck on!

February 10
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,
instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and 
to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age.
Titus 2:11-12

Do I ever awaken and ask the Lord to fill me with the Holy Spirit, so that I can live sensibly, righteously and godly that day? Do I open my Bible with the intent of finding "how to" instructions on denying ungodliness and worldly desires? I should!  
The Lenten season kicks off today reminding us to stop, repent and reflect on our sinfulness and turn our focus to our Savior.
The phrase live sensibly in this Titus passage keeps reverberating in my mind.
When I see Jesus I want him to say, "You've been sensible!"  The qualities of righteousness and godliness seem like a stretch, but with God and the Holy Spirit all things are possible.

Dictionary definitions
sensible- possessing or displaying prudence (cautiousness); showing good judgement 
righteous-morally right or justifiable 
godly- believing in God and in the importance of  living a moral life; devout

Read Me a Devotional

Highly recommend this devotional we gave him as a baptism gift.

February 9
Well, it doesn't get much better than having your seven year old grandson ask you to read him a devotional.  Looking through the table of contents he said, "I'd like to hear the one that mentions creating a clean heart."  Oh, my...steal my heart away.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
Psalm 51:10

We talked about all the ways in which our hearts can be pulled.  Life brings loads of choices and sometimes it is very tempting to go with the world's ways.  Walking away from temptation or choosing to standing alone can be very difficult.  I shared that our church has a memory verse we are working on together.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:2 

To have a hunger for the things of God at seven years old is a treasure to be cherished.

Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and  honor.
Proverbs 21:21 

Team Work & Character

Love watching these two play together.

February 8
"...we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."  Romans 5:3-5 

I'm a southern girl who grew up in a football loving family, married a college football player who coached for 20 years, and I watched all five of our sons don school football uniforms and go at it. So, yes, I did watch Superbowl 50 right to the end.  During the season I pulled for the Carolina Panthers, being the closest thing we have to a home team.  As the pre-game week wore on, I began to tire of Cam Newton's being a character and appreciate Peyton Manning's humble character and his AGE! Yup, I found myself pulling for the old man to be able to go out with a win.

Last night's game was all about the difference great defenders can make!  We have a fabulous defender in Christ Jesus and he makes all the difference for us in this game of life.

"The Lord All-Powerful is with us; the God of Jacob is our defender."
Psalm 46:7 

Since, "a cheerful heart is good medicine" (Proverbs 17:22)  I did watch the commercials.  I definitely related to the woman having the ultrasound, while her husband ate Doritos, but the Buick wedding setting, where the bridesmaid goes long to catch the bouquet was my favorite. 

Ready to Forgive

"O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive,
so full of unfailing love for all who ask for our help."
Psalm 86:5
February 6-7
Am I "ready to forgive?"  God knows us and he knows he is going to be offering up forgiveness on our behalf.  I don't think I step into life "ready to forgive."  There are times I step into situations praying in advance for everybody to just get along and be kind, but I want that to transform my thought process into an attitude of "ready to forgive!"
Last month, I read an excellent devotional on forgiveness by a She Reads Truth writer.  Below are some key points which grabbed me.

"...in my career as professional counselor, I've seen it time and time again: our natural inclination is to retreat and self-protect. It seems we're afraid to show others our sadness and pain, as if it's somehow safe to put up walls of anger and silence-even while we long to be understood and feel a close connection with those we love.
Joseph had every reason not to trust his brothers, to want to protect himself instead; yet he placed his trust in God.  Joseph's identity and security were do deeply rooted in God, he was able to forgive his brothers entirely, and invite them into his presence and under his protection. (Genesis 45:9-11).  
Joseph's response blows me away, and yet, isn't it a reflection of God's response to us?  We'd like to think we're always the honorable underdog, like Joseph.  But we're also his vengeful brothers, we're the villagers throwing stones (John 8:3-11), and we're the ones who put Christ on a cross.  (1 Peter 2:24). 
I have offended a perfect God more horrendously than I can bear, and I've been forgiven more completely than I can fathom.  Mercy upon mercy upon mercy has been heaped upon me.  Out of this relationship with an overwhelmingly gracious God, I find that I, too, can be moved, changed, and compelled to truly forgive."  SRT

Isn't that powerful?  Let's step into this weekend, ready to forgive!

"For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you."
Matthew 6:14 


Snow much fun!
February 5
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart!  I have overcome the world!"  
John 16:33

The word overcome has stuck with me the past week. While I want to overcome the residual effects of this stroke, there is much more on this earth to be overcome than our physical/mental ailments.  

Let's look at Jesus' life in light of the word overcome.

"They entered the house and saw the child in the arms of Mary, his mother. Overcome, they kneeled and worshiped him. Then they opened their luggage and presented gifts: gold, frankincense, myrrh."
Matthew 2:11
(When was the last time we were overcome with love and worshipped Him and presented him gifts?)

"When Jesus got the news, he slipped away by boat to an out-of-the-way place by himself.  But unsuccessfully, someone saw him and the word got around.  Soon a lot of people from the nearby villages walked around the lake to where he was. When he saw them coming, he was overcome with pity and healed their sick."  Matthew 14:13-14

(When was the last time we were overcome with pity and that compassion moved us to action?)

Let's look back to the scene at the cross. It's not my favorite part of Christ's story. While it has great purpose, it is very painful to remember the sacrifice made on our part.
"All who had come around as spectators to watch the show, when they saw what actually happened, were overcome with grief and headed home. Those who knew Jesus well, along with the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a respectful distance and kept vigil."  Luke 23:48-49

Have we left Jesus hanging on the cross? Is He still in the tomb?  Or does our discussion of faith reveal the VICTORY!

"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it!"  John 1:5

The victory over evil was won when Jesus was raised from the dead, there are repercussions for now while Satan is still allowed to roam the earth, but BOOM, we know his doom.

"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."  Romans 12:21

"Who is it that overcomes the world?  Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God."

We need to overcome our timidity, our tendencies towards self-absorption and worldly living, and think eternally.  Then we will be more prone to tell His story!

I know an overcome!  You should come over and let me tell you about Him!

Engage Your Spirit

February 4
These snowman pancakes were a great replacement for a birthday cake this year.  Don't they just make you smile!  That's a bacon scarf and whipped cream with sprinkles hat!  Making the various circular sizes and getting out all the embellishments took a little time, but the end result was well worth it!

Worship takes time.  We need to find a place in our day to as it says in John 4 "...engage your spirit."
I've never walked away from worship disappointed or downtrodden.

"It's who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth.  That's the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship.  God is sheer being itself-Spirit.  Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration."
John 4:24 

When I Get Carried Away

Making oh so good snow cream!
Good to the last drop.

We stayed in our snowplow pjs all day this particular day.
February 3
 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Chris.
Philippians 3:20  

My husband has requested we play the song "I'm Walking on Sunshine" when we celebrate his home going.  My father's favorite song from the 1940's was "I'll Be Seeing You." which we played over and over for him as he was dying. Quite appropriate knowing he was headed to heaven.

A cute new friend in my Bible Study group lost her mother a couple weeks ago and she shared two songs they used for her funeral, which were new to me!  Hope you enjoy...
"No More Night"

"When I Get Carried Away"

Here's a happy look at what might happen when we get to heaven!

I"m gonna let the glory roll when the roll is called in glory.
I'm gonna get beside of myself when I get beside the King that day.

I'm gonna have the time of my life when the time of my life is over.
I'm gonna get carried away when I get carried away.

Well, I'll pass the clouds and shout so loud, it may sound like thunder.
My tearful eyes may fill the kids until it looks like rain.

When I leave this world, pass the gates of pearl, and stand before my savior,
I'll let my soul, at the glory roll, when from the roll He calls my name. 

My White Bird Is Back!

Do you see him? He looks like a white drone to the right of the tree.

February 2
A couple months ago I asked my husband, "When will the white bird come back to the cove?"  Every winter he seems to appear. Once there were three of them. I called them my "Trinity" birds. A reminder of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. 
Yesterday, right in the middle of reading an email from an encourager, he flew up the middle of the cove to our property.  I jumped out of the bed and grabbed a camera!
Every morning I should jump out of bed with the same excitement because the Trinity is with me, whether my head is spinning or not!

"And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever."
John 14:16